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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Piers: no elitism here

Piers Akerman, Murdoch's dutiful columnist, fails to understand the outcry over convicted Australian drug smuggler Nguyen Tuong Van, due to be hanged in Singapore this Friday. Indeed, he seems to believe that the death penalty is a sign of a country's maturity. Akerman, always portraying himself as a man of the people, is actually little more than a useful stirrer of bigotry and malice:

"Nguyen, according to friends, seems to have come to terms with his crime and his punishment in a far more graceful manner than those shrilly hectoring the Singapore Government over its well-publicised drug laws.

"Despite facing the ultimate penalty, he has not succumbed to the madness that seems to have affected many in the media and political worlds, indeed, there seems in his writings to be a sense of relief that he will soon be spared their incessant irrelevant chattering.

"Though he has no choice in the matter, it does seem unfortunate in the extreme that death will provide Nguyen with his only release from their nonsensical posturing.

"We now wait for the same vacuous fools to mount another meaningless assault against capital punishment - and call for the cancellation of sporting events - when the smiling [Bali] assassin Amrozi is given the date for his execution.

"Let's hope that more than sports fixtures are scheduled for the same day, the event of his death should be marked with parties."

23 Comments:

Blogger Wombat said...

Having had a few e-mail tussles with Piers Akerman, I am amazed someone as ignorant and so blatantly biase as he could ever be given a column. He has never offered even a moresel of criticiosm of Howard or US policy, even in the face of obvious mistakes and goes after their critics like a pitbull.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 11:22:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

He's only still working at Murdoch because Rupert likes someone with complete loyalty, to both himself and those in power. A useful idiot, in other words.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 11:26:00 am  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

I, for one, will be dining on a fabulous plate of Singapore-style chili crabs, washed down by copious amounts of chilled crisp Tassy sparkling, to celebrate our ally's contribution to stamping out the global drugs trade. Now if only we could let them into the King's Cross injecting room to sort that joint out, eh?

How you can complain about Piers' biases and yet happily link to loons like "Justin" Raimondo...well, all I'll say is that if Akerman is an idiot (he ain't), at least he's useful!

p.s. Note the typical Anty slurring of opponents, rather than engaging the argument. Why should we care about NVT? Looking at the forums on the Fairfax sites - you should be familiar with that part of the operation :) - most people agree with PA, not you. But I guess they're all stupid redneck bigots, not even worth responding to. Indeed...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 12:05:00 pm  
Blogger Bernard said...

Its a bit rich for the hanging hack Akerman to laud the cold blooded savagery of killing an Australian drug courier when he himself was an addicted user of hard drugs.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 12:06:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Bernard,
Indeed, what do they say about 'reformed addicts'?
As for the people wishing for death by hanging, guess that makes it OK then. As the world slowly abolishes the death penalty, only barbaric regimes (and the US) maintain it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 12:22:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

For more on Singapore's hypocrises, read this:

http://www.bulletin.ninemsn.com/bulletin/site/articleIDs/F3FB17DCF7223132CA2570C6007A917E

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 12:55:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Bulletin? I can't trust that...big corporate media lies.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 1:10:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

For a man who wants to celebrate when a man is executed, surely discovering that Singapore works with the Burmese govt is something your precious, bankrupt moral code can handle...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 1:20:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Shab,

How you can compare Justin Raimondo and Piers Ackerman is a real mental gymnastic excercise. For a start, Raimondo knows what he's talking abotu and doesn't mind lifting his arse off the sofa to do some old fashioned investigative journalism.

I worry about you Shad sometimes.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 1:25:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

What, journalism isn't supposed to be merely rewriting govt press releases?
I had no idea..

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 1:49:00 pm  
Blogger David Heidelberg said...

Piers is so far up Howard's arse, he hasn't seen daylight since 1996.

Shab's ridiculous assertion that executing a drug mule will in anyway help stamp out drug trafficking is so naive, I'm beginning to think he/she must be about 17 years old.

Having said that, I'm pretty sure Shab is actually Mike Jericho.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 3:15:00 pm  
Blogger Pete's Blog said...

Dear Comrade Shaba

The execution of Nguyen merely removes a possible future witness in future trials of more significant drug figures.

You have to realise that illegal drugs are a business like any other. The shrewd profit and get richer (certain policemen, politicians and judges in Australia, Indonesia etc) and the suckers hang or do longer stretches than JI's Bashir.

The death penalty is a brutal veneer of activity to protect the influential.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 3:21:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

Bernard said...

Its a bit rich for the hanging hack Akerman to laud the cold blooded savagery of killing an Australian drug courier when he himself was an addicted user of hard drugs.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 12:06:11 PM "

Reading the 1st link - Akerman is yet another convert from being a Trotsky/Mao/Marxist....looney to now a war hugging Right Wing sycophant. What is it with these people?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 3:39:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Shabadoo said...
"I, for one, will be dining ....to celebrate our ally's contribution to stamping out the global drugs trade."

Shabadoo, how many state sanctioned murders have to occur before one starts to question this "solution" to the War on Drugs?

Hmmm. The same mental framework that justifies Iraq methinks.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 7:20:00 pm  
Blogger smiths said...

there is no war on drugs,
there is no war on drug dealers,
theres a repetitive attack on soft targets and petty criminals and a lot of noise covering up the real truth,
drugs run along the same slippery pipes as weapons, illegal oil and increasingly young girls, and the agencies paid to stop it are the cornerstones of the trades

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 7:58:00 pm  
Blogger boredinHK said...

A couple of people imply there are some Mr Bigs in the trade . Any indirect references available to explain who exactly ?
Just curious .
Corrupt judges in Australia ? Is there a consensus that this occurs
occasionally or is it rare?
Sorry for the questions -just trying to learn about Australia .

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 8:27:00 pm  
Blogger dusty_buster said...

Nang Dong Dang can go swing as far as I'M concerned!
At least they are'nt hanging gays for the 'crime' of sodomy huh...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 9:40:00 pm  
Blogger CB said...

"drugs run along the same slippery pipes as weapons, illegal oil and increasingly young girls, and the agencies paid to stop it are the cornerstones of the trades."

Your proof?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 10:07:00 pm  
Blogger David Heidelberg said...

Jesus CB, Singapore's involvement with the Burmese regime is famous.

Also, I'm sure that you don't need reminding about how the CIA funded the overthrow of the Nicaraguan Government during the 80's.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 10:45:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Excellent link David thanks

Thursday, December 01, 2005 1:47:00 pm  
Blogger boredinHK said...

What has Jesus to do with this ?
The articles are really old . The facts may be true but are members of the Singapore Govt also gun runners ? Young girls smugglers -these days ...?
Orang asks " what is with these people?"
Well,what is it you don't understand?

Thursday, December 01, 2005 11:32:00 pm  
Blogger David Heidelberg said...

boredinhk,

The person who wrote one of the articles is a Singaporean politician.

He made the same points last week, here.

Friday, December 02, 2005 1:21:00 pm  
Blogger boredinHK said...

Interesting point but the same can be said of many investment funds.
I would think if we all bothered to look at the scope of their investments in many places many grubby deals would emerge but gun running , smuggling young girls -where does this fit in or is this added to spice up the story?
Profiting from investments overseas is always going to be open to such broad criticism. Apart from the one drug warlord mentioned who are the other people? Are you suggesting the top layers of government (in Singapor or elsewhere )are involved in the actual trading of drugs or laundering their profits?
And someone(smiths ) talked about corrupt judges - again where and who ?Are they saying Singapores judges are corrupt?
As an aside to all this I'd always had the impression Hong Kong was the commercial and business end of the heroin trade. The Triads are multinationals themselves these days and many large corporations
have very dark pasts. Of course that is the way it is up here ....

Friday, December 02, 2005 5:54:00 pm  

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